I awoke this morning and the hermitage is 54 degrees inside, but I have a space heater in my small cell of a room, and probably 60 in here so endurable. The other is actually quite endurable as I went outside to take some Fortitude Fudge and Love of God Bourbon Balls to the road, where the monk stopped by as we planned the hand-off so he'd not have to hassle coming into my hermitage.
So when I returned inside, it actually felt toasty warm!
Well, it was difficult getting up this morning. The pain level in upper back was at nerve-burning point which tends to make me rather ill and also causes flight temptations. So I deliberated in a phone call with adult daughter who used vouchers for tickets out for five days, to visit them. I was considering trying to drive out today, but time was already passing, and my eyes are not great for night driving; and my back, of course, not ever great for driving.
The monk priest said he thought flying the best option, and now just have to pray that I am well enough in the early morning tomorrow to begin what will be rather an ordeal of driving and getting to airport parking and then airport. Plus, it will be indeed difficult to return here as the winter is to be rugged. In that event, though, there is the option to attempt driving again and spending longer in warmer and more comfortable living conditions.
What has happened to my courage, my fortitude, my gumption?
Pathetic! I hear my late mother's clarion call to "Buck up!" "Get some GUMPTION!"
So I will. I will get back into work clothes, keep the sock hat on, of course, and begin drywall mudding in the little laundry area. That will remind me to pray for a woman I met at the laundromat in civilization yesterday. She is the service worker there, name "Nicco" (pr. Nee-ko"). She has quite a life story, and I did my best to encourage her, for she is a special soul and a survivor, and I told her so. She will make it!
There is a loving heart within her and one of sacrifice, as she had to give her children over to her ex-husband as she is incapable of caring for them and providing at this time. But she has a job now, and a running car given her by an uncle, and a friend lets her live in a room in their house. Her children are far away in another state; her boyfriend also in that state, but she said he, too, has issues to work out before they can be together again. He is a Vet, and one can figure his and her issues may include PTSD, alcohol and/or drug abuse, or other afflictions that beset some Vets and their partners.
I promised my prayers, and she will have them, as will all others she told me about, including the loving friend who is letting her stay with them in their home.
The ophthalmologist was excellent yesterday. Yes, consecrated Catholic hermits have all the medical issues anyone can have; and in our times we must go with the flow and do our best to accept remedies. Life will only be harder and less independent in our vocations if we do not. So he was alarmed and serious, and I figured this was going to mean surgery, and then I figured how very difficult to recover from surgery in my current living conditions with the cold and storms.
However, it is only glaucoma.... "Only" is a relative term, for he informed me of the side effects of drops and of the vision I have already lost, never to return, and I said all this is a drop in the bucket compared to the pain in my spine and neck and other areas of body, and my living situation and finances!
This morning I have been thinking of a young woman clerk at a Walgreen's drugstore in another state, who I noticed a few years ago. She probably had cancer of some sort or a terrible accident, as she had a prosthetic eye and partial prosthetic across into her hairline--one eye.
What I noticed, as one could not help but notice, is that the prosthetic was not well done, and some might have opted for a patch or such instead. Yet, it is all relative to whoever is suffering the affliction. I am praying for her, wherever she is, and I laugh at the side effects of my little eye issue, and am amazed that I've been spared glaucoma thus far given strong family history. Ah, it is a minor detail!
A blind mystic hermit is not the end of the world, by any means, and I am far from blind. In fact, the monk priest and I had a laugh when I mentioned this is furtherance of the Lord sparing me and training me further in exiled. For not only was my mystical state too much for parishioners, and my yoyo-ing pain sieges too much to fathom (and indeed when pain severe, my mind can go stark raving crazy from the pain with emotions turning into sobs and despair)--but the side effect of drops will be one dark blue eye and the other light blue, and the one with dark, longer, thicker lashes and the other with my aged, thin, short, pale lashes. Yes, we had a good laugh.
And I think of the young woman and her prosthetic eye at an age in which she would want to fall in love and marry, and I do hope she has! And most people cannot afford the finest of prosthetics, and to her, depending upon what happened to her--she is thankful to be alive, no doubt.
Yes, all things are relative. And today's reading from Isaiah is quite powerful, including the first lines in which we are encouraged to "Lift up your eyes on high, and see who has created these things...."
But these lines following are most helpful and become my prayer for those the Lord brings to me in person and to mind:
"The LORD is the eternal God,
creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint nor grow weary,
and His knowledge is beyond scrutiny.
He gives strength to the fainting;
for the weak he makes vigor abound.
Though young men faint and grow weary,
and youths stagger and fall.
They that hope in the LORD will renew their strength,
they will soar as with eagles' wings;
They will run and not grow weary,
walk and not grow faint.